The WNBA Wants To Expand


It has been a choppy sea for expansion.

The Women’s National Basketball Association is planning to expand to 16 teams by 2028 with the hope of adding a 14th team by 2026. The league apparently wanted Portland as its 14th franchise but that did not happen. There is no shortage of potential owners who are willing to run a WNBA franchise in places such as Philadelphia, Toronto, Denver, Nashville and in South Florida. “Those are the cities we’re talking to,” the WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert said. “We got calls from two other cities. These can either take a very long time to negotiate or can happen pretty quickly if you find the right ownership group with the right arena situation.” In October, 2023, the WNBA did add a 13th team when it awarded San Francisco a franchise that will begin play in 2025. In spring 2023, Englebert said. “We need to be in some big cities in this country where all our data and information shows there’s some great markets for WNBA basketball.” Portland was one of those cities that the WNBA targeted. In fact, Portland seemed to be the top market for the 14th franchise. Engelbert said during the 2023 WNBA Finals she expected a 14th team to be added by 2025, but said in February 2024 the league would instead remain at 13.

Portland, according to Englebert, dropped out of the running for an expansion team “until the timing and scope of arena improvements are settled.” In October, 2023 Englebert said, “We have to be very thoughtful in the way we’re thinking about it. Now it’s whether we can find the right, as you say, the right mix of the ownership group with the arena situation and everything else that’s important as part of long-term investing in women’s sports and in a WNBA team.” Portland was not the right situation.

WNBA Commissioner Kathy Englebart wants more teams,

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The WNBA Wants To Expand

It has been a choppy sea for expansion.